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Recognition and respect makes All Star Classic a memorable one

By: Alex Kinkopf
Despite the Pacific Division’s winless record during Monday’s American Hockey League All Star Classic, it was quite a memorable event for the Roadrunners organization, who had two players – Christian Fischer and Kyle Wood – representing the club at the PPL Center in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.
Fischer, at 19 years old, was the youngest participant among the 48 players present, and only the 10th teenager to play in the game since 1995.
For Wood, it was the first taste of the National spotlight for Tucson’s burgeoning defensive star, a much deserved bout of recognition for the 6’5” tall blue-liner out of Waterloo, Ontario.
Early in the afternoon, it was announced that all players would be wearing jerseys plated with #14 for warm-ups in honor and support of Roadrunners captain Craig Cunningham.
Prior to the Pacific Division’s first appearance during Monday night’s classic, a special tribute for Cunningham was played on the PPL Center’s video board and on the television broadcast.
“I think me and Kyle have a real sense of pride,” Fischer said of representing the Roadrunners and Cunningham. “To see what Craig battled through and how he’s doing today, it’s truly an unbelievable journey he’s been through. He’s been fighting every day, and it’s great to see him at the rink again.
“It’s definitely been huge having him back in the room, seeing him smile before the games and at practices,” Wood said of Cunningham’s renewed presence at the team facilities of late. “He brings a light mood into the room and brings a sense of hope for us, and we just keep battling for him every night.”
The Pacific Division’s performance Monday night wasn’t such a successful one, unfortunately. Christian Fischer and Kyle Wood’s squad posted an 0-3 record, falling 6-3 to the North Division, 6-1 to the Atlantic Division, and 5-3 to the Central Division.
Both Fischer (1G, 2A) and Wood (2G, 1A) registered three points during the Classic.
Kyle Wood was the first of the two to get on the score sheet when he jammed home a rebound as time expired in the Pacific’s 6-3 loss to the North, becoming the first Roadrunners player in franchise history to score in an All Star Classic.
Christian Fischer assisted on the Pacific’s only goal in their 6-1 loss to the Atlantic when he fed the San Jose Barracuda’s Daniel O’Regan a backhand pass for a nice set up.
In the team’s third and final game, Fischer buried a pass from the heart of the slot to register his first and only goal of the Classic.
Wood recorded his second goal of the evening when his shot from the sideboards ricochet off of a defender’s stick and into the net.
The players will now report back to Tucson to enjoy a couple of days off before the club heads to Glendale, Arizona for a Thursday afternoon practice ahead of the team’s pair of games against the Charlotte Checkers this Friday and Saturday night at Gila River Arena.